The bye week can either be a much needed yellow light(needed) or came at a time when its an ultimate momentum killer(stop sign). Lets take a look at the 49ers. They are just coming off an ugly home loss to the Ravens. Their team is down mentally, some would say even to funereal proportions. They were most recently inept and hopeless. What better time for a bye week! "This should give us a chance to get some work in" muttered safety Michael Lewis. "Some much needed work".
The bye week was introduced as revolutionary when introduced by then-Commissioner Paul Tagliabue in 1990. Although some might say looking back to that time that it was a heretical type of decision, depending on who you talked to. Since then however, the bye week has become on icon of the NFL's fabric. From the moment the schedule is released, coaches, players, and fantasy players alike mark the calendar to highlight this weekend off. While the bye may be looked at with relief to a struggling team like the Niners, it gets an equal amount of skepticism for a team like the Raiders, who are afraid that it will negatively impact the momentum gained from a big road win in Miami under new QB Daunte Culpepper.
Unbelievably as it may sound, the Raiders emerge from the bye week in sole possession of first place in the AFC West at 2-2. But not all of the voices from the Silver and Black are negative, as witnessed by first year coach Lane Kiffin. "It happened to come at a good time, injury-wise, for us", he said, referring to injured players LaMont Jordan, Derrick Burgess, Oren O'Neal, and Robert Thomas. "If I could make it perfect, it would be a little later in the season", Kiffin added.
The bye week draws equal and opposite emotions. Byes began a week later this year than last, going from weeks 4-10, rather than 3-9. "The bye weeks give our teams an opportunity to rest during the course of a long season," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said. "They also expand our share of the calendar in a modest way." Sure they do. By expanding to a 17-week schedule it increases the all-important aspect of TV revenue. If you remember, the NFL had two bye weeks per team in 1993, but after poor reviews that plan was scraped by the next year.
Tim Brown, a former Raider chimed in with "If the bye came in October, that was welcomed because that's when your body is beat up."
The NFL says there is not set formula for factoring in byes into the regular schedule, which does nothing to appease the conspiracy theorists who say having teams have byes at different times than their division rivals upsets the competitive balance of the league.
The following are the 5 best and worst records following the bye week since 1990:
*Texans started as an expansion team in 2002
**Browns suspended operations from 1996-98